BlazBlue -Consumer Edition- Original Soundtrack
BlazBlue -Consumer Edition- Original Soundtrack
July 1, 2009
Buy at CDJapan
Only a few days before the BlazBlue -Consumer Edition- Original Soundtrack was released came the overseas release of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger — a great game with a great soundtrack. The consumer album covers a good handful of themes created for the console release of the game, including theme songs, event cues, menu music,, and some other bonuses. Most of these themes weren’t released in the Original Soundtrack or the Limited Edition album, though there are a few themes on this album that were in the Limited Edition album, for whatever reason.
We start off with “Beat a Nail With Your Hammer!” which is the theme that makes the character Bang Shishigami special — his Distortion Drive gets its own theme music. It starts off triumphant for a few seconds, and then the party gets started when a male Japanese vocalist enters. However, I’m not exactly sure what to think of his singing. Part of me thinks he has a bit of a weird voice, but on the other hand I can’t think of anything that would fit better. He definitely delivers Bang’s in-your-face personality very well. But fear not: if you can’t stand his singing, an instrumental version of the theme is included in this album. I personally think it would be better to listen to the normal one, though, as instrumental versions of vocal themes often sound empty without the singer, and that one is no exception.
Then already we have a real gem: “Love so Blue ~Blue Heartbeats~”. This is a vocal arrangement of the original soundtrack’s “Bullet Dance”. If I’m not mistaken, this one is sung by Noel’s Japanese voice actor, and she does an excellent job at it.f my favorites though; just a bit too repetitive. At first I was going to call the introduction to “Cloudy” as triumphant, but the brass ensemble in the beginning quickly changes it to a somewhat eerie piece. From there it is kind of hard to describe — it changes into a theme that is battle theme worthy, I The theme still keeps that mix of beauty and power, and the singing only adds both. She has a very strong and beautiful voice. This one also features an instrumental version, but I would just listen to “Bullet Dance” if I didn’t want the vocals. That way there’s no absence of melody.
Moving to the instrumental tracks, the style is often very different from that exhibited on the Arcade soundtrack. “Flos” is definitely one that I’d enjoy listening to over again. The first part exhibits a magnificent piano piece that eventually is joined by wind instruments. The thing that makes this one so great is that it just gives its listener a feeling of happiness. It feels so light and carefree, not to mention that you almost want to dance to it because it’s so fun. “Mistletoe” meanwhile gives a quirky, electronic feeling that gives a more sprightly feel. It’s not one o suppose. The tempo increases, there are segments of rapid synth instruments and piano, and several times it sounds like it is going to go back to that triumphant feeling but the eeriness takes it over. Not fantastic, but definitely interesting.
Considering the ambient tracks, “Highlander” is a bit weird considering what we’ve come to expect from Daisuke Ishiwatari. It gives an image of wandering alone in a dark cave with moisture dripping from the ceiling. That said, it is quite a bit slow, but the piano and strings make it sound very mysterious. After about three minutes of that, it picks up greatly into a segment of intense brass and then rapid percussion, making me imagine something big chasing you throughout the cave. So, thanks to that image in my head, I like it quite a bit. As a music piece, though, it doesn’t really outshine anything. I thought it was a huge bore when I first heard it. “Hollow” is quite a bit different from the others, sounding like the theme of a beautiful cave with ice crystals everywhere. It’s a bit generic for a setting like that, but it’s pretty nonetheless. The violin that steps in halfway through only enhances its beauty. “Mirage” gives another mysterious atmosphere with its piano lead, with a melody that is somewhat screechy and pretty at the same time. Some background brass picks up towards the beginning, but all in all it’s just another theme meant to make the listener feel lonely and creeped out.
While I don’t remember when it is played, but “Front Line” just screams menu music. It’s an alright theme, and gives a “prepare for battle!” feeling, but it’s just too repetitive in the beginning and doesn’t get anywhere until it’s almost over. “Altar” is just another menu theme, but there was obviously a good deal of effort put into it despite that fact. It mostly just consists of a clapping beat, and a violin leads with brass in the background. All throughout the theme is one of the prettiest melodies I’ve heard, though it does give traces of sadness. What can I say about “Impulse”? It’s only fourteen seconds long and has a really fast tempo. Not really anything one would go looking for to listen to.
That said, there were some disappointments to me. Maybe I’m just not hearing it right, but the beat that starts “Raise” is extremely annoying. It’s mostly just a techno theme all throughout, starting with a single beat that has other elements added onto it. When it finally gets its last piece, I’m already tired of listening to the theme, and it’s only a bit over a minute long. Likewise “RIOT” starts off extremely awesomely with a choir section that just screams “Aah! We’re all gonna die!” but unfortunately after that the rest of the theme is a techno-y piece with some alright piano and brass, but all that is drowned out by a beat that plays constantly that sounds like ripping. I couldn’t listen to all of it — it was just that annoying.
Another of the major problems with the soundtrack are the numerous short themes. “Curse”, for instance, features some very emotional violin for the first half (which is only about 20 seconds, mind you). All of a sudden everything turns much darker and gives way to intense operatic vocals and all. If it weren’t so short, it could have been much more significant to the album. “MarsMars” is another short one, but it’s definitely interesting, giving a very creepy aura about it. I really wish that it could have been an actual theme of much greater length — it could have branched into a really good theme — but that’s not the case. It’s cool, but it doesn’t go anywhere. On the upside, “Open the Gate” was on both the Original Soundtrack and the Limited Edition album, although this version is extended. This ominous sounding track does sound a little bit better than its 45 second rendition, but the first half of it still has that annoying buzzing sound that really gets on my nerves.
Moving to the end of the album, “Bright” is quite a bit better than the track before it. Being the credits music, it gives a message of “Hooray! You’re all done!” in a very sprightly and upbeat manner. It’s nice to see the electric guitar come back, and I like the jingling synth instrument that gives us the melody. I have to admit the melody does get a little repetitive, but it’s alright because it’s really a great melody. We finish this album on a relaxing, calm mood with “Stardust Memory”, something that I’m sure a child could easily fall asleep peacefully to, with its music box melody and a background that sort of sounds like singing. I have to give props to this one for that.
The beginning of this album starts off very solidly. The two vocal themes are definitely the highlight of this whole album. The mistake they made was having those two tracks played first, because everything else after it just couldn’t compare to those two. There were a few I liked following those, and this album also had some very interesting tracks, but there were quite a few more cons to it than what BlazBlue has already dished out so far. Most of the tracks were too short for a real listen to, and a couple of them were a bit of a hindrance to this album’s quality. The good news is that those that were longer were great for the most part. I really would just get the longer tracks, because coincidentally all the tracks on here that were my favorites all exceeded two minutes. It’s not a bad album by any means, but a bit of a shadow to the original soundtrack.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Steve McBlark. Last modified on January 23, 2016.